Apparently not satisfied with the poor state of roads leading to Nigeria’s commercial nerve centre, Sifax Group has unveiled a new terminal along Ijora Causeway, Lagos.
Over the years, entry and exit from Africa’s largest container port have been bedeviled with prolong delays arising from the poor state of the port access roads and not a few stakeholders who witnessed the unveiling of the new terminal saw it as a relief to the recurrent gridlock which had led to the death of a yet to be estimated number of persons.
Stakeholders who witnessed the epoch making event which attracted dignitaries from far and near include the Ojora of Ijora land, Oba Fatai Oyeyinka; Commissioner of Police, Lagos, Hakeem Odumosu; President General, Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Adewale Adeyanju and the Customs Area Controller, Apapa Command, Comptroller Mohammed Abba Kura.They patted Sifax Group on the back for the initiative which will not only ease the congestion in the port but also generate direct and indirect employment for the citizenry.
It is on record that the promoter of the new terminal is a conglomerate with investments in maritime, aviation, logistics, oil and gas, hospitality and financial services sectors of the economy.
Speaking at the unveiling of the facility which opens into the Ebute Metta Creek, Ijora, Lagos, the Group Executive Vice Chairman, Sifax Group, Dr. Taiwo Afolabi said the company decided to invest in the facility to make the process of cargo clearing a wonderful experience as opposed to what is obtainable currently.
Represented by the Group Managing Director, Siifax Group, Mr. Adekunle Oyinloye, he said the new terminal which would be a model and sits on an 11 acres of land, will leverage on technology and innovations to deliver an unparalleled customer experience as well as cutting-edge inland container services.
His words: “The SIFAX Container Terminal, Ijora, Lagos is our modest response to a major issue in the maritime industry – access to Lagos ports. The logistics nightmare in Apapa occasioned by the traffic congestion experienced by port users compelled the group to look for a solution that addresses thus seemingly intractable problem. With this terminal, agents, truckers and consignees do not have to go to the ports before getting their consignments cleared.”
On the unique advantages of the terminal, Afolabi said consignment would be transferred primarily through barges from Apapa and Tin Can Island ports, adding that the good road network in the area also offers clients faster and efficient cargo clearing.
Continuing, he said: “Another key advantage of this terminal is that it is IT-driven. The group has decided to invest in technology to sustain the business to our clients’ satisfaction.”
In his opening remarks, the helmsman of the facility, Mr. Paul Linden expressed the readiness of the terminal to exceed the expectations of clients through the acquisition of modern cargo equipment and deployment of an experienced and professional workforce backed by the over three-decade experience of the group in the maritime industry.
Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Ms. Hadiza Bala Usman who was represented by the authority Executive Director, Marine and Operations, Hon. Onari Brown commended SIFAX Group for its solution-driven mindset and aggressiveness in pursuing the dream of getting the terminal ready for operations in record time. She promised the support and cooperation of the authority in realizing the vision of the new business.
The Executive Vice Chairman, ENL Consortium and Chairman, Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN), Princess Vicky Haastrup, lauded the conglomerate for always being at the forefront of innovations in the maritime sector of the economy.